The Hammer and the Anvil

Dwight Jon Zimmerman and Wayne Vansant. FSG/Hill and Wang, $24.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-8090-5358-2
In this engaging and insightful graphic biography, Zimmerman reprises his partnership with Vansant from The Vietnam War: A Graphic History to present an account of two of the most important figures of 19th-century U.S. history: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. For both men, the book begins at the beginning, showing the challenges that they faced as children, their efforts to overcome difficult circumstances, and the very real impact both men had on shaping the social and political consciousness of their times. It draws parallels between the humble circumstances of their early years, but it does so with subtlety, allowing the reader to recognize the connections for themselves. The unsentimental portraits look at the difficulties both men faced and what motivated them: racial equality for Douglass and the preservation of the Union for Lincoln, with the conviction that slavery would eventually come to an end. Vansant uses a simple but effective technique of moving between two different monochromatic color palettes when switching between the two, culminating in full-color illustrations when the men finally meet. Combined with Zimmerman’s narrative, it’s a compelling look at two of the most important figures in American history. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/09/2012
Release date: 07/17/2012
Genre: Comics
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-8090-5359-9
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